Competitive Innovations in the Mortal Realms: Skaven Win-Win an Event!

Just one tournament to cover this weekend in Scotland due to the bank holiday weekend – let’s crush it.

Fall of the Old World VII

A two-day, five-round event which took place in Stirling, Scotland. It was a 31 player event and you can find the lists for this event at BCP

The Showdown

Skaventide VS Living City – Battleplan Unknown

Skaventide – John B – Yeah you saw that right, Skaven! John’s bringing Stormfiends with their buffing accoutrement and brings two Verminlords to act as mobile kill-murder pieces: Screech Verminking and a Verminlord Deceiver.

Skaven - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Skaventide
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Lord Skreech Verminking (330)
Verminlord Deceiver (345)**
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Artefact: Gnawbomb
 Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon
Grey Seer (140)**
 Lore of Ruin: Skitterleap
Arch-Warlock (175)**
 Artefact: Vigordust Injector
 Lore of Warpvolt Galvanism: More-more-more Warp Power!

Battleline
20 x Clanrats (130)**
 Rusty Spear
20 x Clanrats (130)*
 Rusty Spear
10 x Stormvermin (110)*
 Halberd

Units
6 x Stormfiends (630)*
 2x Windlaunchers
 2x Ratling Cannons
 2x Doomflayer Gauntlets
 Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 121
Drops: 8

Living City – Stu West – Stu takes advantage of the powerful Living City’s allegiance abilities and pairs them with the disgustingly efficient Fulminator warscroll to form the core of his list. Supplementing this is a cheap and killy Griffon and a suite of support pieces – A Freeguild regiment of dudes to exist on points and be annoying, and a Hurricanum. Oh and Doralia sneaks in as that perfect little murder piece to make wizard life hell.

Living City - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Cities of Sigmar
– City: Living City
– Grand Strategy: Bastions of Hope
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Freeguild General on Griffon (290)*
 General
 Lance
 Command Trait: Forest Strider
 Artefact: Spear of the Hunt
 Mount Trait: Soaring Guardian
Freeguild General (100)*
Doralia ven Denst (115)*

Battleline
10 x Freeguild Guard (85)*
 Swords and Shields
10 x Freeguild Crossbowmen (105)*
10 x Freeguild Crossbowmen (105)*

Units
4 x Dracothian Guard Fulminators (460)*
 Reinforced x 1
4 x Dracothian Guard Fulminators (460)*
 Reinforced x 1

Behemoths
Celestial Hurricanum (230)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1950 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 112
Drops: 1

Thoughts

Let’s boil this down to the units that matter here, because both players are bringing incidental chaff that’s mainly going to skitter around and hold objectives. Skaven is bringing an Arch-Warlock to buff the Stormfiends with +1 Damage and full hit/wound rerolls (Warpstone Sparks & More-More-More Warp Power! respectively), and two Warplords to act as mobile kill pieces. One interesting bit of tech here is that the Deceiver is bringing a Gnawbomb, which can be used to turn a piece of terrain within 6″ of the bearer into a Gnawhole (the terrain features Skaven players can teleport units through) for a turn. Combined with Skitterleap to teleport the Deceiver in enemy territory and near terrain it let’s the Stormfiends slingshot up the board and unleash rend 3 hell on whatever he wants. The problem here is simply that Living City can tuck the Fulminators into deep strike so John won’t have juicy initial targets.

Stu on the other hand has a pretty simple game plan here – get the Fulminators into the Stormfiends as efficiently as possible, because if he can lift them early he’ll win the game handily as this Skaven list in particular is a bit of a one trick pony. The problem Stu will have is that Hunters of the Hidden Paths, the Deep strike given to Living Cities, must come in on board edges. Once the Fulminators drop in they can shoot and then move thanks to Strike then Melt Away to improve mobility, but they might have a hard time getting to the Stormfiends if John screens the Stormfiends appropriately. Doralia can harass the wizards and handily make her points back, but ultimately it’s window dressing around the death star units. Stu has got lower drops, so he’ll get to dictate initial priority, and there’s an argument for going both first and second:

  • Go first, the Stormfiends won’t have had an opportunity to move into the centre and insulate themselves from Fulminator charges so an early kill is possible.
  • Go second, and the Stormfiends will get to shoot you but importantly their first shooting phase won’t be able to fuck up the Fulminators as they’ll still be in deep strike. Chance at a double turn.

I think the correct play here is for the cities player to go second and simply protect all his key pieces in deep strike and weather the initial storm of shooting, hoping for a double turn. It’s not an ideal matchup simply because the Stormfiend damage output is absurd against pretty much anything, and this LC list in particular doesn’t have fantastic tools for killing them outside of making charges with the Fulminators. Weirdly, even making the charge is a bit of a gamble, as Unleash Hell could be deadly in and of itself. For that reason, the Griffon is likely a sacrifical piece to absorb the shooting to try and get the Fulminators in untouched. It’s weird to look at Skaven and favour them in this matchup, but the fact is the Stormfiends will effortlessly murder the foot Freeguild troops and pull ahead pretty comfortably on objective control if the LC player doesn’t kill the Stormfiends quickly.

Result

Skaven (John B) Victory – Major Win

John B – Skaventide – First Place

Skaven Clanrats
Skaven Clanrats
Credit: Pendulin

John’s List – See Above

Notable Features

  • You know what will fuck up most things? ranged rend 3 d3+1 damage Windlaunchers with full rerolls.
  • Screech Verminking provides a toolboxy unit that can do a bit of everything.

Why it’s Interesting

I’ve covered the list’s main trick above, so let’s focus on the army outside of that combo. The two Verminlords each sport a 5++ ward and can be quite killy, with Screech in particular capable of buffing his primary melee weapon to rend 3 d3 damage, useful against all the save stacking going around.

The Battleline bodies are here mainly for screening as they wouldn’t be able to fight out of a wet paper bag. The Grey Seer is primarily here I imagine to set up the Skitterleap teleport, using it’s Warpstone Tokens ability to roll 3d6 and discard one for casting once per game to help ensure a high roll and get the spell off to set up the Gnawbomb combo.

Joshua Aird – Maggotkin of Nurgle – Second Place

Great Unclean One
Great Unclean One – Credit: RichyP

Joshua's List - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
– Subfaction: Befouling Host
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Great Unclean One (495)*
 General
 Bile Blade & Doomsday Bell
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Artefact: The Witherstave
 Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon
The Glottkin (700)**
 Lore of Malignance: Rancid Visitations

Battleline
20 x Plaguebearers (300)**
 Reinforced x 1
10 x Plaguebearers (150)**
1 x Beasts of Nurgle (110)*

Units
3 x Plague Drones (200)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

Total: 1955 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 121
Drops: 2

Notable Features

  • A combination of the summoning power of Befouling Host + Bell and the area control of Glottkin + Plaguebearers
  • Plague Drones provide a sneaky good ranged disease dispenser unit.

Why it’s Interesting

Joshua has given the list the name ‘janky’ when submitting it, which I can certainly see as it’s two different playstyles of Nurgle jammed together but the result is still pretty compelling. The Glottkin can use it’s Blightkrieg ability to charge the Plaguebearers up the board and establish board control and hopefully hem your opponent in, while the summoning helps get a Sloppity Bilepiper down early to shut off pile ins and really get the area control engine going. It lacks in direct killing power, and will be heavily reliant on smart usage of it’s two beefy boys to take out key targets and achieve battle tactics.

As for the Plague Drones, their ranged attack looks junk at first glance, but stop and think about it in practice. A unit of 3 will each do attacks up to the number of models in the unit, capped at 7. In other words, if you attack a unit of 10 (a common number), it’ll throw out 21 dice and likely put around 3-4 disease counters on the unit. That might not sound like much, but with The Witherstave to improve disease rolls it’s going to add incremental value over the course of the game, and they’re not bad in a fight either!

The Rest of the Best

3 more 4-1’s make up the rest of the top performers:

  • 3rd – Stu West – Living City: See showdown.
  • 4th – Mike Callaghan – Ironjawz: Double Mawcrusha *AND* 15 Brutes makes for an interesting Ironsunz list which can set up counter charges to help mitigate against poor Brute mobility.
  • 5th – Phil McGuiness – Ironjawz: Only one Mawcrusha in this Bloodtoofs build, investing the points in 3(!) Warchanters, 12 Gore-Gruntas and 10 Brutes.

Wrap Up

We can practically smell the stench of death and blood on the air, as preview articles on Warhammer Community ramp up coverage for the DoK and NH battletomes ahead of their release announcement – we hope not much longer now! The past month or so has been a pretty healthy mix of armies in the top 8, and it really feels like the field is as diverse as it’s been in a while, which helps explain why the low win-rate Skaven of all things win a tournament. Hope you enjoyed, see you next week!

If you have any questions or comments leave one down below or email us at Skaven? In my Competitive Innovations article? It’s more likely than you think. @EllarrUK investigates .